July 19, 2020
Let's Build for Ruby and Rails developers
I'm excited to announce the new launch of a series where I focus on building a community and job marketplace for Ruby and Rails developers.
After some awesome feedback about a recent poll I created on my YouTube channel I decided to commit to building a new community while recording the entire process. Over 100 of my channel's subscribers responded in favor which is truly amazing to see. Thank you if you participated!
To be considered a successful build I want to:
- Create something useful for the Ruby and Rails community.
- Show the process of creating a real-world application as best as I can.
- Launch the final application and hopefully see some traction (with your help of course!).
If you've followed my screencasts in the past you might notice I'm fairly thorough. This is by design.
When I was first learning there were very few people teaching this way. To grasp a concept and learn something new I wanted to be able to see the teacher think and respond to real errors or unexpected results to help me confirm I'm not alone as I struggle to inch forward with progress. This "realness" helped me understand what routes others might take to achieve success with their coding journey.
This series will be a little different in terms of style/editing. While I plan to edit a lot of the video I don't plan to be very meticulous with it since I anticipate this taking quite a few parts to complete. We're building a fully functioning Ruby on Rails app from the ground up and I like sweating details 😅.
- This series will be more of journaling like series.
- I'll do my best to film everything but there may be times where I summarize certain phases to save us all some sanity as I battle bugs, sleep, eat, etc...
- I'll try to post on a consistent schedule as time allows.
- This entire process might be a bit more relaxed (less edited) than other screencasts I've done but I think it will be worthwhile still to see the entire process.
- The primary focus is to get a good v1 (MVP) of the application shipped. This might mean fewer tests/designs so I can better validate my initial assumptions.
While I'm building this app as a means to teach more people, I do intend to earn from it if it pans out to be a successful project. I'll go into more about how I think the application might work next but I wanted to get that out of the way initially. This might mean some details I can't share like API keys, billing details, and other more private concerns. I think for the most part everything else will be public and transparent.
The source code is one of those areas I'm not sure if I want to make public but probably will so others can follow along and learn from. It wouldn't be fair to everyone if I didn't. Assuming this project is successful there may come a time down the road where I stop supporting the public version of the code directly in favor of a private version on my own.
What problem is this solving?
Right now it seems like there is no centralized place to find ruby/rails specific jobs or developers. Providing a place (a water cooler of sorts) for these developers to hang out would be a fun way to keep the community alive and well. This could also be a great opportunity for employers to save a lot of time in their search for the perfect developer.
I'm thinking the app will serve two different audiences. One audience will be a developer and the other will be an employer.
Employers would visit
railsdevs.com to search for developers they may want to hire or post a job so the developer community can apply if it seems like a good fit.
Developers would visit
railsdevs.com to find jobs and participate in the community side of the platform. I'm imagining the community being very basic at first. We don't need to over-engineer a forum until this strikes some validation post-launch.
As of right now, I've secured the domain name
railsdevs.com. This will be where the result of this big experiment ends up once pushed live.
So far I've made some quick wireframes of what I envision the user experience looking like. This is by no means complete or even what will make it to the first version of the application but its a start. I find that wireframes are a great way for me to conceptualize an idea. They can be rough yet highly detailed if necessary. I spent maybe an hour on these tops.
Here's the concept for the home page. I think I want to rely heavily on RSS for this app so developers and employers don't even need to visit the site every day. I have developers being able to be followed on this mockup but I don't know if that makes the most sense in the long run outside of the community.
The job index page is pretty straight-forward. Being able to filter by location and role type seems ideal.
Creating a new job will probably be the most complicated part of the app. I want it to be a wizard type of job builder so I may need to reach for a more sophisticated front-end stack to accommodate. I also want to include some basic upsells that configure a price in the end so this will get complex. At the moment I'm mot comfortable with Vue.js so I might lean in that direction.
As an Employer, I think it would be awesome to fine-tune some advanced filters during my search. I haven't decided if this feature will be a premium one or not just yet but I think it has the potential to be.
Communities are tough. I'm hoping this part plays out but trying to onboard new users here could prove difficult. I'm thinking of this space as just a place where rails and ruby developers can hang out and discuss pretty much anything.
With these concepts wired up, I think a good next step is to start thinking about tools and the data layer. We want to have some data associated with other data so I'll continue in the next part of the series with that.